PICS OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN
Julio Le Parc at Galerie Perrotin, Paris
By Fatima el Malki
One of the final two exhibitions of the year 2017 at Perrotin in Paris was dedicated to recent and historic works of Julio Le Parc. Le Parc, 89 years old, is known for using projected, moving and reflected light in his works, creating wonderful optical illusions.
We visited the exhibition, Bifurcations, early December 2017 and noticed a very young audience wandering the two floors occupied by works made by the pioneer in Op art and Kinetic art. Teens and young adults patiently wait in a casual - not too obvious - queue in pursuit to capture one of Julio's kinectic pieces that are infinitely in motion such as Formes en contorsion (1967) and 14 formes en contorsion sur fond blanc (1971) .
Under the mantra of 'pics or it didn't happen', many a visitor was busy documenting the moving and still pieces of art that would eventually make their way onto streams of Instagram feeds. A question may arise after witnessing behaviours like these at shows and exhibitions; does this give us a reason to despise this new generation of gallery and museum hoppers that showcase peculiar acts of queue'ing to get that empty frame shot or, rather, casual - but totally orchestrated to the smallest detail - posing in front of works of art by these youngsters?
At this exhibition, there were two installation rooms in particular that proved to be excellent spaces that could potentially provide superb Instagram content for one's followers. In Espace à pénétrer avec trame (Variation du labyrinthe de 1963), visitors would find themselves in a room with patterns on the walls, ceiling and floor, scattered around the space suspended from the ceiling are mirrors that give the illusion to the viewer as if they're floating mid-air, skewing the viewers placement within the room, almost causing instability whilst losing their way as they walk around to fully experience the installation.
In the second room, another installation required the visitor to look up to the ceiling. Continuel lumière au plafond, revolves around a large plexiglass panel inserted with a a series of small mirrors. On both ends of the room, behind a hidden wall, a projected light shines onto the little mirrors, creating a glittering effect bouncing off the ceiling, onto the walls and finally reaching the viewers inside the room.
The exhibition offers an array of works made over the past 5 decades which is a great showcase for 'first timers' to come in contact with Le Parc, even those whose highest priority is to elevate their personal brands on their Instagram feeds. After all, if Julio has one desire, it is to experiment with our engagement and perception of art, to create works of art that are in constant flux and as vibrant today as they were at the time of their creation, a statement that still rings true today in the Instagram age.
Fatima el Malki is a digital wiz and art enthusiast currently based in Europe. She spends most of her free time visiting galleries and exhibitions and will be contributing art news to our platform, so stay tuned.
Fatima favorite websites and social media handles?
- https://hyperallergic.com/ - my daily art read
- http://dlisted.com/ - guilty pleasure, I've been following this for over a decade and I just love the writing
- https://aeon.co/ - profound and provocative long reads
- http://haw-lin.com/ - a research based online mood board
Instagram handles I follow:
- @Alexanderfury - Another Magazine editor/fashion journalist
- @JerrySaltz - Art critic for New York Magazine
- @ArtReview_Magazine - contemporary art magazine
- @Diet_Prada - call out all knock off designs - very amusing
- @MichelGaubert - the founder of the hashtag #AboutLastNight
- @SaintRecords - Solange Knowles
- @BOF - Business of Fashion